Brendan Dassey’s former defense attorney, Len Kachinsky, spoke with Local 5 after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court federal judge’s ruling that Dassey was coerced to give a confession in the murder of Teresa Halbach.
The ruling allows Dassey to be freed from prison, unless the state of Wisconsin appeals it.
The state has 90 days to appeal the ruling, which would likely send the case to the full panel of 17 judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“I can’t be a full advocate for Dassey at this point, but I would expect the full panel of the 7th Circuit is going to want to take a look at the case,” Kachinsky said.
The case could end up playing out on the stage of the U.S. Supreme Court, if the justices choose to hear it.
Kachinsky believes it isn’t likely.
“I think the full [7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals] panel is going to be the strategy the state takes, because even though this has some unique issues, the Supreme Court takes so few cases, they probably wouldn’t want to take the chance on that,” Kachinsky said of the state’s strategy.
We also asked people on the streets of Manitowoc how they felt about Thursday’s ruling.
“My personal opinion, from everything I saw about Brendan I think that they should just let it go,” Nick Knutson of Manitowoc said. “He didn’t seem competent enough to know what was going on. I think he got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“I have a disabled son a lot like Brendan Dassey, and I watched the ‘Making a Murderer ,”and all the interrogations and I thought it was absolutely ridiculous,” Kimberly Howell, of Manitowoc, said.
“He had no clue what was going on what was going to happen to him if he said anything, and I just feel really bad because he was crying, it even showed him crying and it’s like you can’t do that to a mentally disabled kid,” Hallie Gorecki of Manitowoc said.
The state of Wisconsin has already said that they plan to continue to pursue Dassey’s case and will keep him behind bars.